Oct. 3, 2007
WACO, Texas - Baylor pounded out 72 kills and hit .383 as a team as the Bears defeated Texas Tech 3-1 (30-17, 28-30, 30-20, 30-22) on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center.
With the win, Baylor ends its five-match home losing streak, dating back to Aug. 31. The last time the Bears won at home was a 3-0 win over Stephen F. Austin in the first match of the Baylor Invitational.
The Bears also tallied a season-best .383 hitting percentage on 72 kills, 15 hitting errors and 149 total attacks. Baylor's previous season-best hitting percentage came in a 3-1 win over Sam Houston State at the SMU/Radisson Invitational as the Bears hit .317 for the match.
"We really wanted to come out tonight and set the tone for the match," said head coach Jim Barnes. "We were able to gain the lead and then extend it. Both of our outside hitters were on tonight and really saw the court well."
Katie Sanders (Katy, Texas) led the way for the Bears with a career-high 25 kills. She committed just four hitting errors in 48 total attacks to record a career-high .438 hitting percentage.
"It feels good to finally win at home," said Sanders. "We came out tonight and did whatever we had to in order to get the win. This was a good win in the Big 12 and will give us confidence going into our next match."
Ashlie Christenson (Cleburne, Texas) also had a career night as she tallied 16 kills and one error on 24 swings to hit .625 on the night. Her hitting percentage is the fifth-best in Baylor history for a four-game match, and the best mark since 1994.
"We were swinging away and hitting the ball hard," said Christenson. "We had a lot of good communication and good passing in the back row, and we attacked with a lot of confidence."
Haley Thomas (Jewett, Texas) also tallied double-digit kills with 12, while committing just three hitting errors in 26 total attacks. She also recorded five total blocks.
Texas Tech placed three players in double-digit kills as Michelle Flores, Alicia Ostmeyer and Caroline Courtney each recorded 11 kills. The Red Raiders were held to just .143 hitting, including -.025 in game one and .000 in game three.
"We had a lot of good passing in the back row tonight," said Barnes. "Kristen Schramek was back playing well in the libero position tonight, and I think that Caitlyn Trice and Kelsey Smith really stepped up for us tonight."
Baylor got out to a quick start in game one, winning 11 of the first 14 points. The Bears kept the lead in double-digits as they hit .300 to win game one.
The Red Raiders came back strong in game two, hitting .357 on 21 kills and six hitting errors. Baylor led by as many as five points at 15-10, but Texas Tech rallied to tie the score at 24 apiece. The Red Raiders extended their lead to as many as three before winning game two 30-28.
After halftime, Baylor turned up the intensity in games three and four to close out the match. The Bears hit .548 (19-2-31) in game three and .457 (18-2-35) in game four. Baylor did not commit an unforced error following the intermission as the Bears' only hitting errors came as the result of four Texas Tech blocks.
"This is a good win for our confidence," said Barnes. "For young teams, confidence is everything. It was also good to win at home; we want to play well here and haven't been recently. And we will also take advantage of having our bye weekend to rest some players that have nagging injuries."
Baylor has an open date on Saturday and will return to action on Wednesday as the Bears travel to Austin to face Texas. The match is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. from Gregory Gym. The play-by-play audio will be broadcast on baylorbears.com beginning at 6:20 p.m.